December 13, 1910

LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

There has been no work of that kind by us. There has been in the United States, especially in Massachusetts, where a good deal of that work has been done under a commission appointed to in-

vestigate the cost of food. We have utilized these figures as a basis on which to go in making estimates. We have no such estimates in Canada on which to base our figures. I consider myself that although the exports of dairy products have decreased there is no reason to suppose for a moment that that is a proof that the production has decreased. But we have other data to go upon which enable us to*say with a firm conviction of the truth of the statement that the production has increased and that to-day in Canada the production of dairy products, that is, milk and its products, is at the least $100,000,000 a year and that that is at least $20,000,0000 greater than was the product of the cows in 1903. The dairy commissioner goes on to say:-

Our home market is growing at the rate of $2,000,000 a year, and it is already by far the most important one that we have, in point of volume, as it takes fully four times as much as there is surplus for export.

You will see, therefore, how very important it is in these calculations and discussions not to discard the home market and not for a moment to base our estimates or our contentions upon the export trade.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

If the increased population accounts for the consumption of so much of our animal products in Canada, how is it that the same result is not produced with regard to grain, the report of which has increased from 27,000,000 to 90,000,000 bushels? Would not the rule hold good both ways?

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
Permalink
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

No. Surely the hon. gentleman is not serious in propounding such a theory. Most of our immigration goes to the Northwest and is bringing thousands of additional acres under the cultivation of wheat each year and, my hon. friend knows that the great majority of our immigrants are not experts in stockkeeping or dairying and are not devoting their energies to the production of animal products. The immigration which has been increasing enormously is adding to the consuming power of the country in the matter of butter and cheese while it is adding to the export power of the country in grain products. My hon. friend (Mr. Sproule) smiles as if he had superior knowledge but if he thinks a little he will appreciate that his comparison is all wrong.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
Permalink
CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

I merely read the statement of a witness who said there were ten times the population in the country to-day and only one-tenth the number of cattle.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
Permalink
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

No person could properly say that there is ten times the population in the country to-day.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
Permalink
CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

I quoted that statement from the report.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
Permalink
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I do not know how my hon. friend (Mr. Sproule) could give endor-sation to such a statement as that, because every one knows that instead of ten times as many people, which would be 1,000 per cent, there are only 50 per cent more people.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
Permalink
CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

I made the citation from the report and did not give it as my own statement.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
Permalink
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I am sorry that my hon. friend (Mf. Sproule) should in iwhat appeared to be a serious speech cite any such statement as that because it merely shows that the man who made such a statement was talking wildly.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
Permalink
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

The hon. minister misunderstands. The witness whose evidence was cited said that in this country (speaking of a particular locality in the vicinity in which he lived) there were ten times as many people as 25 years ago and only one-tenth as much of this particular product.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
Permalink
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

That being so it does not invalidate my argument because I was speaking of the .consuming and producing power of the whole of Canada.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
Permalink
CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

And it also shows that the statement made by the member for East Grey was not incorrect.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
Permalink
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

Then I misunderstood my hon. friend and I apologize to him.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
Permalink
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

Would the minister explain why there is such a difference between the conditions attending the production of butter and of cheese. If the minister is correct in his conclusion as to the cause of the decrease in the export of butter one would expect the same result would follow with regard to cheese, unless you are to assume that our new population do not care so much for cheese as they do for butter.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
Permalink
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

And that idea is not so very far wrong. Canada is not a cheese-eating country in the same sense as England is. We eat in Canada about one-eighth of the cheese we produce and we send forward seven-eighths.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
Permalink
CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

How does the minister get at those figures.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
Permalink
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

We have more data to go on with regard to the production of cheese than with regard to butter and milk, because nearly all the Canadian cheese is factory made and we know the production of our .factories and how much is exported and consequently we can tell the amount of cheese eaten in Canada. My hon. friend (Mr. Borden) has asked a very natural question and I think I can answer it. We-manufacture an enormously greater quan-

tity of cheese than we eat, and even if the new-comers eat the same proportion of cheese that Canadians did ibefore, it would not affect the export of cheese as it would the export of butter. We have always consumed a very much larger proportion of the butter we have produced in Canada than iwe have exported. The greater prosperity of our people and the consequent greater quantity consumed has affected very seriously the export of butter and caused it to almost disappear, whereas the same conditions have not affected very materially the export of cheese.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
Permalink
CON

Andrew Broder

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRODER.

The high price of cheese has also had an effect on the export.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
Permalink
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

No doubt the high price has tempted the export of cheese more than it has that of butter. True, our population is increasing very largely, but I think all will agree with me that in the last few years our urban population has been increasing at least in proportion to the rural population. For one reason or other our great cities have been building up rapidly. Even in the west where the great mass of immigrants are going we are all struck by the enormous increase in the population of the towns. It is true the country population is increasing there too, but the population of the towns is increasing, I think, even more rapidly than the rural population. A larger proportion of the immigration into the Northwest than I think is healthy, is going into the towns rather than out to the land. In eastern Canada it is a great deal worse in that respect ; I say worse advisedly, because every one will agree with me that the drift from the country to the city is reaching proportions in Canada as elsewhere which are unfortunate and much to be regretted. In eastern Canada, in Ontario, and Quebec, and the maritime provinces the population in the rural districts is almost stationary and possibly in some places it may have decreased while the fact is that the total population of these provinces has increased largely and rapidly. Large cities like Montreal and Toronto in these two provinces, and like -Sydney and St. John in the lower provinces, are building up at an immense rate, and the inhabitants of those cities are consumers, and not producers of food products.

My hon. friend spoke of the increase in the production of grain. This is quite natural because of the bringing under cultivation of vast new fields in our western country, and many of the people engaged in producing grain are not producers of milk, beef, pork or any other form of animal products, even for their own consumption. In the older portions of Manitoba there is a good beef and dairy trade going *on: but I venture to say that in the prov-Mr. FISHER.

ince of Saskatchewan a very large proportion of the farmers actually buy some animal products for their own consumption, meat, butter or cheese, and in some cases even condensed milk. Under these circumstances, the difference in the growth of grain-production and grain export and the production and export of animals and their products is easily explicable. The hon. gentleman points out that the total export of agricultural products has increased from $24,000,000 in 1901 to $90,000,000 this year. I venture to say that if he -analyses the figures, he will find that almost the whole of this increase is due to the increased production of grain in the northwest.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
Permalink
CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

That could not be, because our export of grain was less than 50,000,000 bushels and it could not run the total export up to $90,000,000.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
Permalink

December 13, 1910